The Status of Entrepreneurship in Canada

By Bryan Watson

BDC for the last few years has been conducting surveys to gain a better understanding of the nature of entrepreneurship in Canada and has just released the latest results. This report helps to reinforce the needs of entrepreneurs throughout Canada.

Currently 10% of Canadians own their own business with the highest number of business owners located in Alberta and British Colombia with just over 13% of the population owning their own business. The region with the lowest percentage of business owners was Quebec at 5.1%.  Of all of these owners almost 23% of them have owned their business for less than 5 years, a mark that is considered a critical point to help ensure long term viability.

The number of actual owners is in stark contrast to the 90% of the population that have indicated they intend to open a business in the next 5years. They main reasons cited for the discrepancy between the desire to own a business and the actual formation of a business were finical reasons and time limitations. 63 % of respondents stated that current financial limitations were a barrier while only 35% stated the fear of losing money  in the future as an obstacle. Lack of time was reported by 33% of respondents.

Of the individuals that do finally start their own company 35% of them go on to start a second and 60% create 2-4 new ventures. These serial entrepreneurs like other Canadian Entrepreneurs are focused on growth. When asked 60% of Canadian Entrepreneurs said they wanted to grow their business.

But not all entrepreneurs are made equal. One trend highlighted in the report was the different needs between older and younger business owners. Younger owners 18-34 put a much higher importance on finical resources than older owners who are more worried about attracting the right people to their company.

This report is a great synopsis of the entrepreneurial landscape in Canada and should be read by anyone interested in entrepreneurship in Canada.

For the complete report go to:

Reposted from National Angel Capital Organization

Throughout his career, both in Canada and the UK, Bryan J. Watson has been a champion of entrepreneurship as a vector for the commercialization of advanced technologies. Upon his return to Canada in 2004, Bryan established his venture development consulting practice to help emerging-growth companies overcome the barriers to success they face in the Canadian commercialization ecosystem.  Visit Bryan’s blog and the National Angel Capital Organization.


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